The zombie-themed Queen Creek Running Dead 5K has a greater purpose than scaring participants into running from the undead hordes hungry for brains. The race—held the weekend before Halloween—benefits local schools by funneling the proceeds to the Queen Creek Schools Education Foundation for scholarships and teacher grants.
At Christina's Italian Restaurant and Bar the herbaceous aromas of fresh-baked calzones and lasagna waft around tables checkered in red and white and into nostrils around an outdoor patio. Drawing on family recipes refined by three generations of Sicilians before her, owner Christina Curley oversees a menu of authentic dishes such as seafood frutti di mare. In the kitchen, cooks assemble dishes from fresh-made dough and sauces made onsite by resident Sicilian grandmothers. On plates, chicken and broccoli join mozzarella inside a golden-brown calzone pocket infused with a garlic white-wine sauce, while steak tip au poire swims in garlic, tomatoes, and white wine.
SK8 ASYLUM's skate park provides grind- and ollie-worthy real estate for riders of all ages and skill levels. As an indoor wonderland, the park is tricked out with a 20-foot-wide mini-ramp, a spacious, coping-lined wooden bowl, a full-scale 12-foot vert ramp, and more street-course elements than most post-apocalyptic street courses. If you don't know the difference between spines, Euros, and banks, then either rent Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 while wearing a British boarding-school uniform for studious inspiration, or check out the wheel-watering snapshots of SK8 ASYLUM's skate park.
As if running through over 3 miles of mud and obstacles wasn't enough, Run to Death elevates heartbeats and anxiety levels by releasing gruesome monsters onto its course. Participants run along collecting lifeline ribbons placed at various checkpoints along the course. Then they must protect these lifelines from the claws of desirous demons, monsters, and other creepily costumed volunteers—all while dragging themselves through pits of mud and tumbling over hurdles. The event recognizes "survivors" as those racers who finish with at least one lifeline intact, while those who finish without a lifeline will have run themselves to death but on the bright side, they'll be able to accurately describe the afterlife to whoever will listen.
As a 23-year-old junior, Tom Hatten didn’t spend his evenings at the raucous parties or ice-cream socials associated with college life. Instead, he’d spend the waning hours of his evenings waiting by the dryer for the last batch of towels before collapsing into bed. In the morning, he would lug them to Mountainside Fitness, the gym he opened as a student that he has thrown all his energy into maintaining ever since.
Today, the humble 4,800-square-foot space has bloomed into nine gyms that average a sweeping 41,000 square feet. Tom’s vision of creating a friendly neighborhood gym that greets each guest with a warm towel underscores every decision he makes for the different locations, from the colorful kid-care spaces to the entertaining group fitness classes. Personal trainers plan regimens tailored to each client, helping them lose weight, build muscle, or target the muscles that will help build a better golf game. Clients can create their own routines with the help of cardio and weight machines, or explore the different amenities at each location, such as saunas, rock-climbing walls, and indoor basketball courts.